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UK Newspaper Guide

Traditionally, UK newspapers could be split into more serious-minded newspapers, usually referred to as the broadsheets due to their large size, and sometimes known collectively as "the quality press", and less serious newspapers, generally known as tabloids, and collectively as "the popular press", which have tended to focus more on celebrity coverage and human interest stories rather than political reporting or overseas news. The tabloids in turn have been divided into the more sensationalist mass market titles, or "red tops", and the middle-market papers.

However, both The Independent and The Times have switched in recent years to a compact format, not much bigger than that used by the tabloids. The Guardian switched in September 2005 to what is described as a "Berliner" format, just slightly larger than a compact. Its Sunday stablemate The Observer has since followed suit. Other Sunday broadsheets, including The Sunday Times, which tend to have a large amount of supplementary sections, have kept their larger sizes. The national Sunday titles usually have a different layout and style to their weekly sister papers, and are produced by separate journalistic and editorial staff.

Much of the information below was gathered from Wikipedia and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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Financial Times (UK)
Financial Times
The Financial Times (FT) is one of the world's leading business news and information organisations. The FT is owned by Pearson PLC.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: Yes
Political Leanings: Economic Liberalism
Web Site: Financial Times Twitter Name: FT

I Newspaper (UK)
I Newspaper
i is a British newspaper published by Independent Print, owned by Alexander Lebedev, which also publishes The Independent. The newspaper, which is aimed at "readers and lapsed readers" of all ages, and commuters with limited time, costs 20 pence, and was launched on 26 October 2010. The newspaper contains "matrixes" for news, business and sports — small paragraphs of information which are expanded upon in full articles further on in the paper. The title also includes a features section titled iQ, and a television guide. The managing director of The Independent stated several days before the newspaper went into print that the publication is designed for people who do not have much time to read a newspaper. On 20 April 2011, editor Simon Kelner announced that a Saturday edition of i will be published, starting from 7 May 2011 and costing 30 pence.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Centre-Left, Liberal Circulation: 161,151 (April 2011)
Web Site: I Newspaper Twitter Name: TheIPaper

The Daily Telegraph (UK)
The Daily Telegraph
Established in 1855 and currently owned by David and Frederick Barclay, the Daily Telegraph adopts a traditionalist, centre-right political orientation. The best-selling quality press title, it consistently backs the Conservative Party in UK elections (hence the nickname Torygraph). The website was launched, under the name electronic telegraph at midday on 15 November 1994, making it Europe's first daily web-based newspaper.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Centre-Right, Pro-Conservative Circulation: 639,578 (April 2011)
Web Site: The Daily Telegraph Twitter Name: TelegraphNews

The Guardian (UK)
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian (founded 1821), is a British national daily newspaper in Berliner format. Sister papers include The Observer (UK Sunday paper) and The Guardian Weekly (distributed internationally), as well as a large web presence. It is now owned by the Scott Trust, via the Guardian Media Group. The paper identifies with centre-left liberalism and its readership is generally on the mainstream left of British political opinion. The newspaper's reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing opinions has led to the use of the epithet "Guardian reader" as a label for people holding such views. Financially, the Guardian has consistently made large losses in recent years despite the popularity of its online version.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Centre-Left, Liberal Circulation: 263,907 (April 2011)
Web Site: The Guardian Twitter Name: guardiannews

The Independent (UK)
The Independent
The Independent is national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned since 2010 by the former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily newspapers. The Indy has become known for its unorthodox and campaigning front pages, which frequently rely on bold images, graphics or lists rather than traditional headlines and written news content. The Independent is regarded as leaning to the left politically, making it primarily a competitor to The Guardian, even though it still features some conservative columnists and tends to take a classical liberal, pro-market, stance on economic issues.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Centre-Left, Liberal Circulation: 180,743 (April 2011)
Web Site: The Independent Twitter Name: Independent

The Observer (UK)
The Observer
The Observer is a British broadsheet Sunday newspaper. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. Founded in 1791, it is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Centre-Left, Liberal Circulation: 302,975 (April 2010)
Web Site: The Observer Twitter Name: ObsNewReview

The Sunday Times (UK)
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, published by Times Newspapers Ltd. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded independently and came under common ownership only in 1966. Rupert Murdoch's News International acquired the papers in 1981. While its sister paper, The Times, holds a substantially smaller circulation than the largest-circulation British quality daily, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times occupies a dominant position in the quality Sunday market. It maintains the larger broadsheet format and has said that it will continue to do so. The Sunday Times is also well known for publication of its annual "Rich List".

Type: broadsheet Paywall: Yes
Political Leanings: Centre-Right, Moderately Conservative Circulation: 1,018,215 (April 2011)
Web Site: The Sunday Times Twitter Name: ST_Newsroom

The Times (UK)
The Times
Perhaps the most famous of Britain's quality newspapers, The Times is a daily national newspaper published in London since 1785, when it was known as The Daily Universal Register. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of News International, owned by the News Corporation group, headed by Rupert Murdoch. Though traditionally a moderately centre-right newspaper and a supporter of the Conservatives, it supported the Labour Party in the 2001 and 2005 general elections. For the 2010 general election, however, the newspaper declared its support for the Tories once again. The Times was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to tabloid size in 2004 partly in an attempt to appeal to younger readers and partly to appeal to commuters using public transport. An American edition has been published since 6 June 2006. The online version has been behind a paywall since July 2010.

Type: broadsheet Paywall: Yes
Political Leanings: Centre-Right, Moderately Conservative Circulation: 449,809 (April 2011)
Web Site: The Times Twitter Name: TheTimesLive

Financial Times (UK)
Financial Times (FT)
The Financial Times (FT) is an international business newspaper owned by Pearson LLC. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is New York City-based Wall Street Journal. Founded in 1888 by James Sheridan and Horatio Bottomley, the FT specialises in UK and international business and financial news. Printed as a broadsheet on distinctive light salmon paper, the FT is the only paper in the UK providing full daily reports on the London Stock Exchange and world markets. With a significant number of foreign correspondents it also provides quality global news coverage. The Financial Times declared its support for Labour as early as the 1992 general election, when Neil Kinnock was attempting for the second time to return Labour to government for the first time since they had been ousted from power in 1979. For the 2010 general election, however, the Financial Times supported the Conservatives on balance, despite criticising them.

Type: broadsheet, financial Paywall: Partial
Political Leanings:Social Liberalism, Pro-EU Circulation: 372,076 (April 2011)
Web Site: Financial Times (FT) Twitter Name: FT

Tabloids: "Red Tops"

Daily Mirror (UK)
Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror is a British tabloid "red top" newspaper founded in 1903. Currently owned by the Trinity Mirror Group, twice in its history, from 1985 to 1987, and from 1997 to 2002, the title on its masthead was changed to read simply The Mirror, which is still how the paper is often referred to. The newspaper has a decidedly left-wing slant, and has consistently endorsed the Labour Party over the years. On 4 May 2010, the newspaper printed a picture of Conservative Leader David Cameron with a giant red cross through his face. The headline read "How to stop him" in reference to the general election two days later, thus confirming the Daily Mirror's Labour allegiance.

Type: tabloid Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Left-Wing, Pro-Labour Circulation: 1,172,785 (April 2011)
Web Site: Daily Mirror Twitter Name: DailyMirror

Daily Star (UK)
Daily Star
The Daily Star is a daily tabloid "red top" newspaper first published in 1978. The paper was launched from Manchester and initially circulated only in the North and Midlands. It was conceived by the then-owners of Express Newspapers, Trafalgar House, to take on the strength of the Daily Mirror and Sun in the north. The Daily Star is owned by Express Newspapers and predominately focuses on stories largely revolving around celebrities, sport, and news and gossip about popular television programmes, such as soap operas and reality TV shows. Unlike most national newspapers, the Daily Star has limited articles on politics and has rarely shown clear support for any specific party or leader; though in the run-up to the 2010 general election the newspaper printed several articles which hinted that it wanted to see Labour and Gordon Brown voted out of power. The paper often gives positive coverage to the anti-Islamic English Defence League.

Type: tabloid Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Right-Wing, Pro-Conservative Circulation: 692,157 (April 2011)
Web Site: Daily Star Twitter Name: Daily_Star

The Sun (UK)
The Sun
The Sun is a daily national "red top" tabloid newspaper and the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK. Famous for its "Page 3" girls and catchy banner headlines, it is published by News Group Newspapers of News International, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. While throwing it's considerable mass influence behind Tony Blair's New Labour, politically, the paper's stance was less clear under Prime Minister Gordon Brown with numerous editorials critical of Brown's policies and often more supportive of those of then Conservative leader David Cameron. On election day (6 May 2010), The Sun urged its readers to vote for David Cameron's "modern and positive" Conservatives in order to save Britain from "disaster".

Type: tabloid Paywall: Yes
Political Leanings: Populist, Right-Wing Circulation: 2,783,110 (April 2011)
Web Site: The Sun Twitter Name: TheSunNewspaper

Tabloids: "Mid-Market"

Daily Express (UK)
Daily Express
The Daily Express is a British daily middle market tabloid newspaper. Founded in 1900 it is the flagship title of Express Newspapers and is currently owned by Richard Desmond. With the exception of the 2001 general election, when it backed the Labour Party, the newspaper has declared its support for the Conservative Party at every general election since World War II. The paper is also a strong critic of Britain's membership of the European Union.

Type: midmarket Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Right-Wing, Pro-Conservative, Eurosceptic Circulation: 635,576 (April 2011)
Web Site: Daily Express Twitter Name: Daily_Express

Daily Mail (UK)
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British, daily middle market tabloid newspaper. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. It is currently owned by the Dail Mail and General Trust plc. The Daily Mail was Britain's first daily newspaper aimed at the newly-literate "lower-middle class market resulting from mass education, combining a low retail price with plenty of competitions, prizes and promotional gimmicks". It was the first British paper to sell a million copies a day. It was, from the outset, a newspaper pitched at women and is still the only British newspaper whose readership is more than 50% female. Politically the Daily Mail has a conservative slant. Its frequently sensationalist, conservatively biased headlines often provoke a strong reaction amongst the liberal leaning blogosphere who sarcastically label it the "Daily Fail". As of May 2011 its online version is the most popular newspaper web site in the UK with around 64 million unique visitors for the month.

Type: midmarket Paywall: No
Political Leanings: Right-Wing, Pro-Conservative, Eurosceptic Circulation: 2,100,300 (April 2011)
Web Site: Daily Mail Twitter Name: MailOnline

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